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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13906

Dividend Imputation


Mr EVANS (Brisbane) (14:48): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how our government is protecting senior Australians who have worked hard to ensure their financial independence? What impact would changes to franking credit refunds have on independent senior Australians, including in my electorate of Brisbane?


Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongThe Treasurer) (14:48): I want to thank the member for Brisbane and say what a fantastic job he has done on his parliamentary committee. He has done a fantastic job working with the member for Mackellar, the member for Goldstein and the member for Hughes in giving the more than one million Australians who are going to be hit by Labor's dreaded retirees tax an opportunity to be heard. These people are hardworking Australians who've done nothing wrong except diligently save for their retirement—like Kevin and Jan from Queensland, who told the committee:

We are fully self-funded retirees. We do not receive any government pensions. We have both worked hard and paid taxes from our late teens until we retired in 2013. We raised and educated three children. We are average, working-class people who have worked hard, lived frugally, no expensive homes, holidays or cars, and saved so we would not be reliant on the government in our retirement. We live in regional Queensland—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr FRYDENBERG: Those opposite say that they are. What a disgraceful slur on Kevin and Jan and more than one million Australians. What a shameful slur.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on both sides!

Mr FRYDENBERG: This was a policy that the Labor Party backed for two decades when it served their interest and now it's a policy they're abandoning because they're desperate for cash. Kevin and Jan live in regional Queensland, where their family home of 32 years is valued at $300,000 at most, hardly in the wealthy class. They say:

The removal of the franking credit refund will reduce our income by a significant amount. We use this income to live off, maintain our home, to travel to see our children interstate and have a yearly camping holiday, not in a large van but in a second-hand four-wheel drive in remote rural Australia where we spend in local communities. The loss of the franking credit refund will seriously affect the quality of our lives.

Opposition members: How much?

Mr FRYDENBERG: Those opposite scream out 'how much?' Well, let me tell you. On average, the 900,000 individuals will lose $200,000 and up to 200,000 self-managed super funds will lose on average $12,000. Now the Labor Party is coming after their hard-earned savings. The member for McMahon says that if you don't like the party, if you like the policy—you don't have to like the party—don't vote for the Labor Party. I can tell you that Kevin and Jan and Rose and all those other Australians who have gone to the parliamentary committee to have their voice heard are now making their concerns known about Labor's dreaded retiree tax. Only one side of politics, the Liberal and National parties in government, will stand with a million retired Australians. (Time expired)